Cards are the human condition and should not be “updated”

Excellent article by Stella about the importance of understanding the cultural significance of a traditional fortune telling system. If you want an updated oracle, then create one yourself. When you try to update the existing archetypes of an established system, you destroy its power.

"fate keeps on happening"

We were having an interesting discussion over at the Cartomancy Forum and I thought I’d post it here. Longish, meandering version: Donna Maritata

Short version: somebody wrote a bogus book (that will sell nonetheless, because there’s next to nothing in english) that “updated” the Sibilla’s Donna Maritata (Married Woman) to “Independent Career Women”.

And THAT, friends, totally loses the card essence.

She’s a person card, and she’s married or in a committed relationship (with a human, not a business), Giovine Fanciulla is young, Nemica is malicious, and so forth. Very simple. Cards that depict various livelihoods might describe her, but they could just as easily describe any of the other people cards.

Anyway, if you made her “independent”, you’d need another card for a stay at home mom, one for a woman drawing unemployment, one for a woman collecting disability, etc. And you’d have to do that with all the…

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Musings on Presente di Pietre Preziose/Omaggio di preziosi

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The 3 di Quadri (3 of Diamonds) in La Vera Sibilla is one of my favorite cards in the deck. In the oldest surviving decks from the late 19th Century, this card is called Presente di Pietre Preziose (Present of Precious Stones), and it corresponds to the 3 of Diamonds in the playing card deck.

In the 1970s an edition of La Vera Sibilla was published by Masenghini with this card renamed as “Omaggio di Preziosi (Tribute of Precious things), and associated with the 8 di Quadri (8 of Diamonds) instead. The 3 of Diamonds in the Masenghini deck is replaced with Donna di Servizio (Servant Woman), which is associated with the 8 of Diamonds in the older traditional decks.

Interestingly despite the swap to Donna di Servizio in the Masenghini Sibilla, the 3 of Diamonds still features the keywords “Regalo-Pietre preziose (Gift/Precious Stones). So there appears to be some confusion in meaning between these two cards in the 1970s Sibilla.

Anyway, the thing I love about Presente di Pietre Preziose is that is so useful. It can represent so many diverse things. It is the card to use when you need to represent any object or personal possession, for example when reading on a lost or missing item.

In a general reading this card can denote that a gift is on the way. With Messagiere you can expect a package in the mail. Specifically, Presente di Pietre Preziose can represent a piece of jewelry. With the 5 of Hearts (Allegrezza al Cuore) it will represent an engagement ring or an engagement taking place. With the Ace of Clubs (Imeneo), it’s a wedding ring. If you work with quartz crystals and gemstones, this is the card that will represent them in a reading. In a spiritual reading, this is the card that tells me which crystals would benefit the querent.

In traditional Sibilla cartomancy some cards bear a positive influence on surrounding cards in a spread, and some will negatively affect their neighbors. In a general sense, Fiori (Clubs) tend to be dominantly positive, and Picche (Spades) tend towards negativity. But most cards are considered to be neutral and are at the mercy of these more dominant influences.  Presente di Pietre Preziose is a neutral card, although it tends to be more auspicious in financial readings, and less favorable in romantic situations.

When positively influenced, Presente di Pietre Preziose is an excellent card to find in a reading for work or money. It can represent an advantageous proposal or a lucrative offer. It brings the idea of wealth, opulence and luxury to surrounding cards. The overflowing box of jewels looks sumptuously rich.

If this card falls next to a person card, it describes that person as wealthy. Next to Casa, it describes an expensive home, and with Viaggio it represents a luxury car. But when surrounded by negative cards the offers and proposals can sour, and the luxury items can turn out to be without true value. Presente di Pietre Preziose with Falsità can represent a fake diamond ring or other glass baubles and costume jewelry. With Il Ladro,  it’s a warning of the loss or theft of something valuable.

Presente di Pietre Preziose is generally not a welcome card in a love relationship reading because it indicates a focus on material advantage rather than emotional fulfillment. When this card appears in reading about a troubled relationship, it will show a general lack of compatibility. The partners want different things, and are more focused on their own individual ambitions than on each other.

In health readings, the 3 of Diamonds will usually show a successful outcome of the prescribed treatment. Because it is predominantly a financial card, it can sometimes show out of pocket expenses or insurance issues when accompanied by unfavorable cards. In my own readings, Presente di Pietre Preziose has come to represent a very specific medical condition.

I suffer the distinct misfortune of regularly spawning kidney stones, and the 3 of Diamonds can make me shiver and sweat when it appears in my daily card draw.  I recently drew the daily combination of Presente di Pietre Preziose with Ladro (Thief) and La Nemica (the Female Enemy).  My immediate impression was that a woman would steal something of value from me, or perhaps a warning not to lose the lapiz pendant I wear on a chain around my neck, which would cause me anger and upset.

I suppose I was subconsciously blocking the true message in these cards because I did not want to contemplate the misery to come. In a matter of hours I was bent over in agony on the way to the hospital with a 4mm stone stuck in my ureter. The warning in the cards could not have been any clearer.

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The cards show the stone (Presente di Pietre Preziose) being passed out of my body (Ladro) with sharp pain (La Nemica). The Female Enemy who is brandishing a blade in her left hand will often represent sharp pain in my daily cards– either physical or emotional.

When I’m trying to locate a lost item, I use the 3 of Diamonds to represent the missing object– unless it’s some kind of document which may be better represented by the card Lettera. Of course for a missing person I will use a person card, and for a missing pet I always use Bambino— I was taught that Fideltà and Falsità are never used to represent domestic pets, even though these cards include the images of a dog and a cat respectively. Naturally I also use Bambino to represent a child.

For locating missing objects I like to use the Lost Man Spread. I set my intention that the 3 of Diamonds will represent the item in question, shuffle the cards while I focus on the location of the lost object, and then spread the deck face up on the table and search the position of the 3 of Diamonds. The cards that appear next to Presente di Pietre Preziose– usually the first two or three on the left and those few directly on the right– will provide descriptions of where the item can be found.

When my nephew lost his DS game console I drew the following spread to help locate the missing toy. Presente di Pietre Preziose was surrounded by Casa and Bambino on the left, and Ammalato and Falsità on the right. Casa confirmed for me that the item was somewhere to be found inside the house. Bambino immediately suggested that baby brother had something to do with the disappearance of the gaming device.

Ammalato led us on an unsuccessful search of the three-year-old’s bedroom. Then it occurred to me that Falsità will usually represent a cupboard or enclosed storage space, and Allegrezza al Cuore suggests an area for dancing and play… THE TOY BOX in the playroom!!!

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Well, we were disappointed when a thorough search of the toy box turned out to be a waste of time, but the missing game device did eventually turn up. It was found in the playroom under the baby brother’s trampoline!  In retrospect, it makes good sense. An enclosed (Falsità) bed (Ammalato) used for jumping and dance and play (Allegrezza al Cuore)! The Sibilla can represent anything in life. The trick is learning to puzzle out the correct message.

The combination of Presente di Pietre Preziose with Allegrezza al Cuore reminds me that the 3 of Diamonds can also represent natural gifts and talents. It can reveal where we shine like a precious stone. I was surprised once in a reading when the cards predicted a marriage engagement with the classic combination of Allegrezza al Cuore and Presente di Pietre Preziose. 

The client was confused because she was wholly dedicated to her career, and she had no intentions for marriage. She was not even involved in a steady relationship. It all made sense when it was revealed that the woman was a professional dancer, and the cards were highlighting her talents (Presente di Pietre Preziose) as a dancer (Allegrezza al Cuore), and predicting a fabulous opportunity on the way for a new gig and the advancement in her career.

I also love that Presente di Pietre Preziose is one of the few cards in the Quadri suit that retains its general positivity when reversed, but its influence is still considered neutral. With favorable cards, it promises slow improvement. No matter how difficult the situation appears at the moment, all will be resolved satisfactorily in time. But beware! With negative cards the reversed 3 of Diamonds may show greed and avarice. With the reversed Donna Maritata it describes the proverbial gold digger. With reversed Gran Signore, it’s the stereotypical tight-fisted cheapskate.

Fate Will Keep Us Together

As tends to be the case with most daily cards, today’s Sibilla card draw can mean several different things. But my first impression– and I find that when it comes to the cards, the first impression is usually the correct impression– is that these cards refer to a blossoming romance.

I know, I know… this may seem odd since there is not a single love or partnership card in the trio, but this is a situation that has been on my mind steadily for the past few days– and the Sibilla have a tendency to address the issues ruminating in my head (at least I find this to be true of my own daily card draws).

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Domestico is a young man– usually no more than 30 years old. He is someone already known to me. Donna di Servizio represents a woman who may be a professional contact, or someone new who is entering my life. Fortuna reversed shows a slowly developing good luck between them, and perhaps the gentle nudge of fate bringing them together.

I learned the other day that my nephew– the one who recently broke off his engagement with his fiancée– is now dating someone new. Apparently he is smitten. I have not yet met the girl, but I understand that she shares his obsessive interest in race cars.

In fact, they met through work related to custom car tuning and performance. Perhaps it’s not so odd that each is represented in the spread by “work” cards– he as the Domestic Servant, and she as the Handmaiden.

Looking at the cards, I can’t help but notice that although La Donna is moving toward Domestico, offering a lovely bouquet of flowers, she looks away, behind her shoulder, perhaps toward the past. Also because both appear as Domestico and Donna di Servizio, and not as L’ Amante and L’ Amatrice, I have the impression that they may not have strong romantic feelings for each other.  The attachment may be more sexual. With Fortuna reversed, perhaps the romantic feelings will slowly develop over time.

The message I get from today’s daily cards (the answer to the unasked question that has been rolling around in my head) is that this new woman may not be the great love of my nephew’s life, but she is good for him right now. They share a lot in common, and there may be a higher force guiding their connection.

Bridle the Sacred Flames

The thing about daily cards is that they can often be interpreted in various different ways. I believe that is what makes this practice such a great learning tool for mastering any oracle.

But in the end the message in the daily cards is usually something personal, and a bit abstract– and almost always painfully mundane

For example, my Sibilla cards for today might represent buying an old house.

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La Vecchia Signora + Casa = old house… and Imeneo can represent a business contract. If Dispiacere reversed showed up nearby, it would confirm the signing of papers.

Maybe a visit to the home of a married couple?

Perhaps an older female relative is getting hitched?

Will I learn today that an ex is shacking up?

Nah…

I’m pretty sure I know what today’s cards are talking about…

It’s a personal matter concerning a rundown (La Vecchia Signora) air conditioning unit in my home (Casa) that can no longer control the heat (notice those flames on the Imeneo image).

The unit needs to be replaced– Florida summers are hot.. hot…HOT! In the meanwhile, yesterday we did some maintenance on the blessed contraption.

In a general sense Imeneo is a positive card of improved circumstances. I have the impression that these cards are letting me know that the air conditioner’s performance will be improved today.

Symbolically the AC will control the sun’s heat in the house the way the ancient Roman altar in the image on the Imeneo card bridles the sacred flames.

Yay!!!

You have no idea how important this news is to me today!

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse?

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I received an email question from a blog reader asking if it is necessary to cleanse and consecrate a new Sibilla deck before using. In my opinion, it is really a matter of personal preference based on your own spiritual beliefs.

I know quite a few spiritual workers who would not dream of using a fortune telling deck until it has been properly cleansed and consecrated.

My grandmother was a reader of playing cards. She would not use a new playing card deck until it was cleansed– or what she called “grounded.” Her process was to wrap the new deck in a brown paper bag (it had to be paper), and bury it in the ground before moonrise. The deck could not be retrieved until the moon had set again the following day.

She believed that the earth would draw away any negativity or any unwanted vibrations from the cards that could potentially interfere the efficacy of the deck. According to my grandmother, you could also ground a deck if it was “misbehaving,” or giving indecipherable or inaccurate information.

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A hole in the dirt with shovel on ground by Joseph Belanger

I used my grandmother’s process for years. I remember one winter the ground froze overnight, and I was unable to retrieve my buried deck the following day. Actually I think it was several days before the ground thawed enough for me to dig out those cards. After that experience, I always made sure to have an extra grounded deck on hand before winter set in. Back in the day, playing cards had a tendency to wear out more quickly than the plastic, linen-coated cards of today.

In time I stopped grounding my cards– due to the inconvenience and lack of privacy of apartment living, and the awkwardness of trying to bury the cards in a house plant. I honestly never experienced any difference whatsoever in the feel or the efficacy of my reading decks.  There is always a period of “breaking in the deck,” but once that connection is made, I have never had to ground a playing card deck for “misbehaving.”

I understand that it’s traditional in Italy to consecrate and purify fortune telling decks– usually with incense, candle flame, salt, etc. I’ve also read stories on Italian language websites of other more elaborate processes for consecrating the Sibilla deck, including the use of holy water and frequent trips to the local church.

My first Sibilla teacher was an elderly lady who had immigrated to the United States from Italy. She was a pragmatic woman, and had been a friend of my grandmother. When I asked her about cleansing the Sibilla deck, her response was that I did not need to worry about such things, the deck would in fact cleanse me.

Another one of my teachers, the esteemed YouTube instructor, Etienne Valancourt says that creating a physical and spiritual connection with the cards is most important. He says that this can be accomplished by repeatedly handling, shuffling, contemplating the card images, etc.

If it is part of your belief system or spiritual tradition that the cards should be cleansed and consecrated, then you should certainly follow what feels right to you. Anything that will enhance your personal connection with the cards will be beneficial.

Whether or not you choose to cleanse and consecrate, the deck should be treated with respect and care. I like to keep my cards wrapped in silk– a tradition from my grandmother that I have kept.

I know a playing card reader who wraps her reading deck in a rubber band and tosses it in the junk drawer when not in use. She also allows her children to play card games with her deck. Not surprisingly, her readings reflect her lack of respect for the tools of her craft.

I personally don’t utilize any formal process for cleansing or consecrating my own reading decks. But I do like to keep a chunk of the gemstone Blue Kyanite sitting on my Sibilla deck when not in use for the stone’s clearing and protective energies.

 

La Vera Sibilla Deck Reviews

My intention for this article is to share my musings on the currently available true Italian Sibilla decks that are reproductions of the oldest surviving La Vera Sibilla published in the late 19th century.

I will save the more modern and variant Italian Sibille, such as I misteri della Sibilla and Sibilla della Zingara for another time.

Every Day Oracle by Lo Scarabeo

I’ve decided that I really do prefer the Every Day Oracle by Lo Scarabeo for every day use. The coating on the cards is a bit waxy, but the card stock in really nice. It seems like these cards will last a long time, even with frequent Every Day use. I have been working with the same deck for the past six months, and the cards still look and feel new.

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I also like that this deck is a faithful reproduction of the oldest mass printed  Sibilla deck still in existence from the late 19th century.

Be aware that there are two versions of the Every Day Oracle floating around. The original has white borders and superb card stock. But there is another version with black borders and thinner stock. The boxes for each version are identical, including the isbn number.

 

Every Day Comparison

The boxes are identical. The backside shows Cupid with the name of the deck in Italian and French

 

I suspect that the deck with black borders is newer, but I ordered an Every Day Oracle deck last March from Amazon.com and received a white-bordered version.  I had previously ordered one from the same company and received the black-bordered deck. It may be a game of chance if you desire a specific version.

La Vera Sibilla by Masenghini

I have to admit that I do prefer the size and vibrancy of La Vera Sibilla by Masenghini.

In her book, Italian Cartomancy, Alessandra Venturi writes that this deck was first published in the 1950s.

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I love the keywords that are printed on most of the cards in this deck. These keywords serve as helpful reminders of the less common meanings that are traditionally associated with the Italian Sibilla.  For example, I’m reminded that La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady) can indicate a short visit.

The problem for me is that Masenghini needs to back off a little on the plastic coating. These cards could survive a nuclear holocaust! I would prefer this deck for every day use, but it is nearly impossible to riffle shuffle the entire stack. I’m a huge fan of the riffle shuffle because I find it to be the most effective method for randomizing the deck. With the  Masenghini cards, it’s like trying to shuffle a handful of credit cards.

Every time I use the Masenghini deck I can’t help but think about how much I would have appreciated this deck when I was a kid.

I used to clip baseball cards to the spokes of my bicycle tires so the wheels would make a cool snapping sound when I rode up and down the street. The spoke card made the bicycle sound cool like a motorcycle.

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Saved from cincinnatimagazine.com

Unfortunately baseball cards had very little protective coating. So they made a soft clicking, and would wear out fast.

The other kids on the block got to use playing cards, but I was not allowed. Playing cards were considered sacred in our house.

With extended use, these Masenghini cards do not become thickened– and soft and comfy like an old blanket– the way a good oracle deck should. Instead, the edges become dirty and the images begin to wear away from the surface of each card. The cards themselves do remain in excellent condition for snapping between the spokes of a bicycle tire though.

I’d love to get my hands on a vintage Masenghini deck that was published before they got crazy with the poly plastics.  You can recognize the older version by its borderless blue backs.

La Vera Sibilla Originale del 1890 by Il Meneghello

My favorite Vera Sibilla is the hand-crafted Sibilla Originale del 1890 from Il Meneghello. Like the Every Day Oracle it is a reproduction of the oldest known Sibilla, but the images have been recolored. I love the soft look of the hand coloring, and the delicate watercolor tinting.

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I use the Originale mainly for personal  readings only. These cards do not seem like they would hold up well to every day use. The look and feel of the protective coating reminds me more of a glossy photograph than a card meant for serious play.

I’ve also heard that with continued use the Sibilla Originale cards have the tendency to split and peel at the corners. I rounded the corners on my deck with the hope of avoiding this problem– I was also tired of being jabbed by those sharp corners.

Modern Vera Sibilla decks

Now that La Sibilla Italiana is starting to find some popularity in the English-speaking part of the world, it can’t be long before new, self-published Sibilla decks start to appear.

As long as the new Sibilla deck remains true to the card symbolism that is so important for understanding the cultural and historical significance of the oracle– and also remains true to the images that bear such a powerful influence on card meaning, I would not be adverse to trying a modern deck.

Italian Cartomancy: Learn the Vera Sibilla Italiana by Alessandra Venturi

I debated for a long while before purchasing Alessandra Venturi’s book, Italian Cartomancy: Learn the Vera Sibilla Italiana, Vol 1. 

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I think I was slightly put off by Ms Venturi’s online presence which to me seems remote and wholly focused on attracting students to her Italian Cartomancy school. I was also put off by the cost of the book, which is rather expensive for a paperback. It turns out I was pleasantly surprised by the book. In my opinion, it is well worth the price I paid (almost $50), and I’m very glad I decided to buy it.

My prior resources for the Sibilla meanings include lessons from actual Italian card readers in both Italy and here in the US. I was worried that Ms Venturi’s meanings would not be compatible with what I have come to regard as authentic and traditional.

I need not have worried. The meanings that Ms Venturi shares, which she states were passed down to her from her grandmother, are very similar to the meanings I have learned from other Italian masters of the Sibilla. Naturally each master has his or her own personal style, but there is an overall unity that speaks of a true Italian Sibilla tradition.

I have put together a list of pros and cons for this volume to help you decide if the book is worth  purchasing for your own Sibilla study.

Pros:

  • It is a good quality paperback, better than some other self-published books I own.
  • The book is nicely written, and user friendly. The cards are introduced in a logical order, and the table of contents helps to pinpoint any specific card.
  • The book provides a detailed history of the Italian Sibilla that I have not seen elsewhere.
  • Historical and cultural notes are provided for many of the card images and symbols.
  • The card meanings are quite thorough, and include both upright and reverse interpretations.
  • Some common card combinations are introduced.
  • Health meanings are provided for each card in both the upright and reversed positions.
  • The book includes a personal history of Ms Venturi’s journey with the Sibilla, as well as some anecdotes regarding her personal experience with the cards.
  • The book features black-and-white images of a vintage Sibilla deck that was passed down to Ms Venturi from several generations.

Cons:

  • The book does not address how to actually read the cards. No techniques are provided for shuffling or laying out the cards.
  • No card spreads are provided, and no sample readings are presented.
  • No in depth information regarding card combinations.
  • Throughout the book Ms Venturi advises the reader that spreads and combinations will be covered in volume 2 of the book, which is only available to students of her Italian Cartomancy school.

Despite the lack of practical information on actually reading the Sibilla, the book is still a wonderful resource for the card meanings.

There are ample free resources online to help with learning traditional techniques and spreads. If you do not read Italian, remember that Google Translate is your friend.

If you are serious about mastering the Sibilla, you will not find a more comprehensive guide to the card images, symbols and meanings, that remains true to the ancient Italian tradition of cartomanzia.

Intuitive Interpretation of a Sibilla Health Reading

I have noticed that the Sibilla can be quite literal at times. Many of the health attributes for the cards are based on the card images, and I find that these images will sometimes go beyond what I have learned of the traditional meanings.

I had the first part of the percutaneous nephrolithotomy– a fancy name for a medical procedure to remove a large stone from my left kidney– on Monday. I was left with a stent entering the kidney from the back, and snaking down through the ureter to curl up in my bladder. The other end of the stent is attached to a bag that collects the urine. Too much information, I know, but necessary to understand the reading. By way of apology, my intention is not to share this reading publicly, but to record it for my own study, and to share with future students.

The stent is pure evil. I can’t decide which is worse: the kidney pain or the bladder spasms which cause a continuous urgent need to urinate despite the fact that the bladder is empty. And heaven help me if I attempt to relieve the bladder in the normal way. The burning and shooting pain is agonizing. Okay, enough! I think you get the picture.

By Thursday, the pain was much improved, but the bladder spasms were as awful as ever. I could find comfort only in a seated position which meant I’d been sleeping in a chair for the past three nights.

Now on to the cards… On Thursday morning I did a quick three card draw to inquire about my healing process. I like doing short readings for focused and concise answers. The following cards appeared…

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It took a minute for the cards to click with me once I shifted my focus to the health meanings of the Sibilla. La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady) refers to health problems associated with old age, such as arthritis or dementia. But she can also indicate kidney stones: that’s a bull’s eye!

In health readings, Il Nemico (The Enemy) can refer to treatment that is harmful or painful. The pain certainly makes sense. And I couldn’t help but notice how the snake writhing in Il Nemico’s left hand resembles the stent that is snaking down through my left kidney and coiled up in my bladder. I’m sure the stent is helping ultimately, but it’s a nasty business.

Finally L’Amante (The Female Lover) brings some relief. She isn’t strong enough to override the two spades, but she does confirm for me that the stent is helpful despite the pain and discomfort.  I should expect the discomfort to continue, but the outcome brings some improvement to my condition. Also, I have to note that the keepsake she holds in her left hand reminds me just a little bit of the urostomy pouch. Dang! I’ll never be able to look at these cards the same way again!

The cards were very literal, and very much on target. By the following Monday, when I finally had the stent removed, I was feeling much better. Then came the second part of my medical procedure, and that’s an entirely other story.

That Scary Disgrazia Again!

Pulling daily cards, and reviewing them at the end of the day, is an excellent way to develop a personal relationship with any oracle deck.

I have also been experimenting with drawing cards at the end of the day for a retrospective message, as it is often easier to make sense of daily cards in hindsight.

I drew these Sibilla cards last night for a message from yesterday, but I was unable to reconcile the message with my day. I’ve learned that the Sibilla sometimes has the tendency to inform me of something it considers to be more important than answering my question. So this may be an important message intended for today.

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Every Day Oracle by Lo Scarabeo

Oh no! There’s that scary Disgrazia (Disaster) card reversed again! I drew that card yesterday too. The meanings for Disgrazia can be very dramatic, particularly when reversed. In her book, Italian Cartomancy, Alessandra Venturi waxes on and on about the terrifying scariness of the Disgrazia card reversed: slavery, subjugation, war, conflict abuse, murder, violence, loss of reputation, loss of freedom, kidnapping, dictatorship, ruination, evil, and even a death curse! Is it any wonder that I tremble when I see this card? I come from an Italian-American family, and we Italians love the drama– and the art, of course!

Interestingly, although I did learn that when Disgrazia is reversed it intensifies the negative influences of the card, I know that for some other Sibilla readers the reversal ameliorates the negative influences associated with the upright meanings. But for me it’s scary, scary– except (luckily) when it appears in a daily card draw. Then its intensity is diminished, and it usually refers to some non-life-threatening damage.

When Vedovo (Widower) appears in a daily reading, my first inclination is to read it as a person card. He’s usually an older, grandfatherly man; but he can also represent a man of any age who is separated or divorced or simply lonely. He often appears in my cards as the ex-husband or ex-lover. In a general sense, it is a card of loss, distance, and separation.

Presente di Pietre Preziose (Gift of Precious Stones) usually indicates some kind of offer or proposal. But it can also represent an actual gift, or any object that holds value– whether monetary or sentimental.

In his YouTube lesson on the card Disgrazia, Maestro Etienne Valancourt teaches that the combination of Presente di Pietre Preziose + Disgrazia in a daily draw would indicate problems with a washing machine.

I find that in my cards this combination can refer to a defect in any household appliance or object of value. For me, the fact that Disgrazia appears reversed in my daily cards would intensify the problem for me. It may indicate irreparable damage to the object, or danger involved in some way.

So who is the Widower? He is likely me. I suppose I’m old enough to be a young granddad, and I am unattached, although not particularly lonely. I would certainly be saddened by the loss of a valued object.

Now having described my musings on each of the cards, what meaning do I ascribe to the card trio?

I suspect that I may end up losing (Vedovo) something of value (Presente di Pietre Preziose) today– most likely something damaged beyond my control that cannot be repaired, and probably cannot be replaced (Disgrazia Rx).

Another possible meaning that occurs to me is that an older man will offer something (a proposal or a gift) that will end up being disastrous.

A third possible meaning– that’s the thing about daily card, they can sometimes mean a million different things, and are usually best understood in retrospect… a third interpretation that occurs to me is that I will lose out (Vedovo) on an offer or opportunity (Presente di Pietre Preziose) due to circumstances beyond my control (Disgrazia Rx).

Or alternatively, I could be forced (Disgrazia Rx) to give or accept an offer that causes me grief. I guess that’s officially a fourth interpretation.

I think these last two meanings are more likely to turn up in a formal reading. I suspect that losing something of value is probably the most likely scenario.

I could probably come up with several additional interpretations for these cards. That’s what I love so much about the daily draw. You learn by contemplating the various meanings and combinations. I get the most fun out of daily cards that can be interpreted in more than just one way, and end up representing more than just one thing or event in my life experience. But the messages above are what jump out at me for today’s cards. I will update this article with a validation when I experience an event that can be logically described by this trio. Thanks for reading!

Update on June 2: 

These cards were indeed intended for yesterday. Last night the house was suddenly filled with the smell of burning wires. I immediately thought FIRE! and began to panic.

It turned out that the motor in the exhaust fan in the bathroom had burned out. Thankfully we were able to catch it in time to disconnect the electricity and avoid a possible fire. The fan will need to be replaced, but the cost should not be too outrageous.

The Sibilla cards never cease to amaze me with their accuracy. The cards predicted the loss (Vedovo) of  the fan (Presente di Pietre Preziose) which could be to be considered a household appliance (of sorts) that was defective or damaged (Disgrazia), and potentially dangerous (the fact Disgrazia is reversed).

Get a Hotel Room!

The following reading provides a beautiful example of the incredible validity and accuracy of the Sibilla cards, and how this magnificent deck can precisely hone in on the theme of a question. I had originally posted an image of this spread on my Facebook page: Art of Cartomancy, and received requests for more information on how I interpreted the reading. So here is my detailed breakdown…

I drew these cards for a friend who was worried about a visit from her villainous mother-in-law. Her husband’s mother was coming in from out of town, and motivated by a well-meaning sense of obligation, my friend had extended an invitation to the older woman to stay in her home rather than take a hotel room as was her usual custom. Now my friend was in a panic that she would be forced to host and entertain the dreaded woman for an entire week.

I suggested that we ask the Sibilla cards if the mother-in-law would decide to accept the ill-conceived invitation, or if she would opt for a hotel room. The chatty Sibilla cards are particularly good at getting down to the nitty gritty of an awkward situation.  I shuffled the deck while focusing on the core question, “Where will her mother-in-law stay when she comes into town this week?” Then I drew seven cards for the traditional Septenary Spread.

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I always look first for the theme of the question to be reflected in the cards. I was pleased to see Donna di Servizio (the Serving Woman) appear in the heart position of the reading because she represents a maid, and provides a good initial testimony that the mother-in-law will choose to stay in a hotel.

The next thing I look at are the pillars of the reading because the answer to the question will sometimes be summarized by these three cards: the first, the fourth, and the seventh. The first card, Casa (the House), could refer to my friend’s home, but in combination with Donna di Servizio it usually refers to a restaurant where you can find serving staff, or a hotel where you can find maid service. Casa is mirrored by Sacerdote (the Priest) which represents authority. The combination suggests a lodging that is run by an official organization, such as a corporation. The pillars provide me further testimony for a hotel stay.

Finally I look at the card trios, beginning with the middle three cards which carry the greatest significance. Dottore (the Doctor) with Donna di Servizio can represent a nurse, but that doesn’t make sense within the context of the question. What stood out to me was the image of a woman in bed, and the significance that the reading was about sleeping arrangements. The Sibilla can be wonderfully symbolic in that way. Everything in life can be represented by one or more of the cards. Messaggiero (the Messenger) refers to a document or written communication– perhaps a hotel reservation?

The first trio provides the premise for the question. Casa with La Riunione (the Meeting) refers to a family reunion. The mother-in-law is coming into town to visit her son. Dottore shows that she will need a place to sleep while she is in town.

Finally, Messaggiero along with Denaro (Money) usually refers to a payment. Denaro reversed would specifically indicate a payment made rather than received. Sacerdote in harmony with Casa would represent the hotel. The woman will end up paying for her accommodations. Yay!

I advised my friend not to worry. The Sibilla very clearly and quite obviously shows that the mother-in-law will decline her invitation and choose to stay in a hotel during her visit. And so it proved to be. The mother-in-law went directly from the airport to a hotel, and no mention was ever made of my friend’s invitation to host her.